Op-Ed

My Christmas present

Thirty-three years ago my eldest daughter Kristina left Nassau at the age of 11 years to live with her mother in Toronto, Canada. Her mother had just moved there after spending years in Nassau. Although Kristina returned to Nassau on a regular basis through the years, she never returned at Christmas time. I would usually share myself at Christmas time, alternating my time between Canada and Nassau.

This year she’s finally home and she brought along her mother, who will be spending Christmas with our son Jeremy in Spanish Wells. Joining Kristina is her husband Jim and my grandson Hercules, leaving behind my two granddaughters Ali and Desi in Canada.

Like many families, we have children spread all across the world and as parents we try as hard as we can to share the holiday season with them. Included in the distance is my youngest daughter Chelsea, who lives in Colorado.

Kristina and her family were here back in the summer, where we spent time in Eleuthera, going up on the fast ferry to Harbor Island and driving from the north to a rented cottage in Tarpum Bay. It was a beautiful vacation and the three weeks flew by so fast, before we knew it they were flying back to Toronto.

Now they are back to spend Christmas with myself and Kristina’s sister Lauren, who herself will be moving to Canada. As it seems, my future Christmas will be spent up in Canada, or they will escape the cold tundra and come home to Nassau. Either way, we will cross that bridge when the time comes.

I was hoping that they could have seen Junkanoo, but it seems that it will not happen thanks to the Grinch called COVID-19. However, we know it’s the best thing, as we have to stop the spread of this deadly virus by staying away from crowds and keeping our distance.

Christmas is a joyous time for most families and a sad time for others who have lost a love one and are still grieving. Imagine those 700-plus people who lost their lives to COVID-19, plus others who either died from natural causes or who were murdered. Either way, it will not be a good Christmas for their families. So I encourage you, if you know of a family who needs cheering up, put a smile on their face. You will be surprised how a small token such as a gift of food or dessert may put a smile on their face.

We are in the season of giving, if you know of anyone that needs help, please give generously. And when passing those ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, give with a good heart as the Salvation Army does good things, helping those less fortunate among us.

I wish to express my gratitude to you for reading this column, although some readers continually remind me that I am supposed to be writing about real estate. Although I get distracted and go off on a tantrum, I will do better next year. I am also grateful for Terence Murrell, the night editor at The Nassau Guardian, for his help this past year. Thank you Terence!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody; hope to be around in 2022.

• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation, two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association and a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. He is also a former president of the Rotary Club of South East Nassau and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of West Nassau. E-mail: williamuwong@gmail.com.

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